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July 29, 2017

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'Teach for Taiwan' helping rural children

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Teachers of "Teach for Taiwan" (TFT, 為台灣而教), an organization aiming to help disadvantaged children in remote areas get a proper education, started their training courses on Monday before their two-year teaching term, the founder of TFT said.

Anting Liu (劉安婷), founder of TFT, said the program has selected a total of 16 teachers among 187 applicants.

A two-month training program has officially begun this Monday that will ultimately prepare these teachers to teach in eight different elementary schools in the remote mountainous areas in southern Pingtung County and Tainan City for two years, starting this September.

Liu, a graduate of Princeton University, said that to come up with the program, she gave up a NT$2 million annual salaried job opportunity offered by a management-consulting firm in New York.

The Taichung-native said she had doubt about Taiwan's education system ever since her senior high school days, as she believes that the nation's education system is extremely stressful for students.

Local youths should be given more options instead of wearing the same uniform, reading the same textbooks and aiming at the same goal, according to Liu.

In the 12th grade, Liu made the decision to prepare herself to study abroad.

Apart from preparing for the local General Scholastic Ability Test, she also decided to take the SAT test.

She ultimately was admitted to nine universities in the United States as well as Taiwan's No. 1 university, National Taiwan University.

During her days at Princeton, she devoted herself to volunteering in different parts of the world, including Haiti, Ghana and Cambodia. She also began to show her interest in issues of inequality in education.

"Education should not be varied according to family background or geographical location," she said.

Liu decided to work on the education system in Taiwan after graduating from college. She founded the TFT in 2012.

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